Antiques & Technology Archives | Page 2 of 17 | Nature's Art VillageNature's Art Village

1650 Hartford-New London Turnpike, Montville, CT 06370


Nature's Art Village & The Dinosaur Place: 860-443-4367
The PAST Antiques & Genius Museum:860-437-3615


Pie BirdsFebruary 11, 2019

A pie bird, pie vent, or pie whistle is a hollow ceramic device used to prevent pie filling from boiling up and leaking through the crust.  These clever gadgets are designed to allow steam to escape from inside the pie. They also support the pastry crust in the center of the pie, so that it does not sag in the middle.

Originally pie vents were simple inverted funnels, with arches on the bottom for steam to enter. In the 1930’s vents were redesigned into a bird shape with steam releasing through the bird’s mouth. Soon pie birds were created in a multitude of designs from storybook characters and animals to advertising mascots.

Pie birds remain popular as gifts and collectors’ items rather than for their usefulness. Whether you bake pies or just love vintage kitchenware, pie vents are a whimsical addition to your kitchen.

The PAST Antiques Marketplace  has an interesting array of pie birds and other vintage kitchenware. Visit us on Route 85 in Montville, Connecticut to see our full selection of antiques and vintage collectibles!

 

 

 

 

The Faithful GroomsmanFebruary 01, 2019

Historians disagree about the origins of the lawn jockey because there is no documentation on who designed the first one. After the Civil Rights Movement, lawn jockeys were considered racist and declined in popularity. However, there are some defenders who feel the jockey statues are a tribute to the determination and resilience of African-Americans.

There are two popular tales surrounding this controversial figure.
The first widespread story is of the brave 12-year-old named Jocko Graves. On December 24th, 1776, Tom Graves, a free African American man, joined a local militia to aid George Washington. His son Jocko accompanied him, eager to become a soldier. Washington was impressed by the child’s courage and assigned him to tend to the officers’ horses while troops crossed the Delaware River. Jocko was to keep a lantern burning to guide soldiers back to camp once the battle had ended.
The following day, after Washington’s victory over the British, the general returned to find Jocko frozen to death, still clutching his lantern. Washington was moved by Graves’ resolve and erected a statue of the young groomsman when he returned to Mount Vernon.

Another unconfirmed belief is the depiction of a ‘footman’ with a lantern was significant to the Underground Railroad. Pieces of cloth were wrapped on the iron jockeys signaling slaves escaping from Southern plantations. Green would signify it was safe and slaves would be provided temporary shelter, red meant there was danger.

Still others believe the lawn jockey is nothing more than a decorative ornament. Over time, the statue’s original design changed, and its origin stories were forgotten. Groups like the Friends of Jocko Society hope to keep this young man’s legend alive.

With more than 90 antique and collectibles dealers between two handicap-accessible floors, The PAST Antiques Marketplace is sure to have something for the history lover in all of us.

Salt CellarsJanuary 14, 2019

A salt cellar, also called an open salt, is a special dish designed to hold and dispense salt. Their use is documented as far back as ancient Rome and continues through the first half of the 20th century.

In well-to-do households during the middle-ages, the head of the house was given a salt bowl called a master salt with a tiny silver spoon. This cellar would be passed around the table to guests, and each would help themselves. With the introduction of free-flowing salt in 1911, use of cellars declined as they were replaced by salt shakers.

Salt cellars are still available today, but most now have lids. These salt cellars come in porcelain, glass, or wood and are used at the stove instead of being placed on the table. Instead of using a measuring spoon cooks can use their fingers when a recipe calls for a pinch of salt.

In addition to being a practical kitchen item, cellars are also affordable and interesting collectibles.
They come in a wide variety of materials including glass, silver and pottery and their styles range from classically elegant to whimsical.

 

The PAST Antiques Marketplace at Nature’s Art Village has a wide selection of salt cellars and other vintage kitchenware. Visit us on Route 85 in Montville, Connecticut to see our full selection of antiques and vintage collectibles!

Due to customer demand, we are extending our Westmoreland glass sale through February.

Buy one, get one free!

(Free item must be of equal
or lesser value)

Now is the time to add to your collection of elegant glassware. We have a variety of colors available including ruby, amethyst, and cobalt in satin and iridescent finishes.Read more about Westmoreland glass here on our blog.

 

 

 

 

The PAST Antiques Marketplace at Nature’s Art Village has a wide selection of Westmoreland and other vintage glassware. Visit us on Route 85 in Montville, Connecticut to see our full selection of antiques and vintage collectibles!

 

 

 

 

Goebel HummelsJanuary 04, 2019

Hummels are the best known line produced by Goebel. These cherubic characters have worldwide recognition.

Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel’s drawings of children first appeared in the 1930s in Germany and Switzerland. The German art publisher Ars Sacra was involved in the early popularization of the art on postcards. Hummel’s “art cards” became popular throughout Germany, catching the eye of Franz Goebel, porcelain maker and head of W. Goebel Porzellanfabrik. Goebel acquired rights to turn Hummel’s drawings into figurines, producing the first line in 1935. Hummel motifs were sold in America at Marshall Field & Co., F. W. Woolworth and other American retailers. Following the end of World War II, the popularity of Hummel figurines grew as American soldiers stationed in West Germany began sending the figurines home as gifts.

After Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel’s death in 1946, an Artistic Board was appointed at the Convent of Siessen as guardians of the legacy of Sister Hummel. Sister Hummel left behind a collection of drawings that Goebel uses today to produce new M. I. Hummel figurines.

Over the years Goebel has faced a number of financial woes which lead to filing for insolvency a number of times. In 2017 German entrepreneur Bernd Förtsch took over the brand and Hummel figurines continue to be produced in the original factory in Rödental, Germany, although manufacturing of Hummel figures has greatly diminished.

The PAST Antiques Marketplace at Nature’s Art Village has a wide selection of Goebel decorative figurines. Stop by to see these and a wide variety of other vintage collectibles. Visit us on Route 85 in Montville, Connecticut to see our full selection of antiques and vintage collectibles!

Goebel MiniaturesDecember 28, 2018

This week we peer into the tiny world of Goebel Miniatures.

From 1980 to 1994, Robert W. Olszewski was the “Master Artist” for Goebel Miniatures Studios. Most of these detailed figures are about an inch tall, although some are a bit larger. Olszewski carved the master design for each figurine and used the lost wax process to produce a bronze version. After hand-painting the miniatures, Olszewski gave them to trained artisans to reproduce.

One of his collections is the Kinder Way, a set of Bavarian buildings and tranquil settings to accompany the M.I. Hummel miniatures. Goebel Miniatures produced 26 different scaled down M.I. Hummel figurines before the series was suspended in 1992.

In 1985, Grolier Enterprises commissioned Goebel Miniatures to produce the Walt Disney Snow White and Seven Dwarfs Collection to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the animated film. This collection consisted of eight individual figurine pieces, cast in bronze and hand-painted and glazed to mimic the look and feel of fine porcelain. The collection met with success, and Goebel secured its own license for reproducing Walt Disney characters in miniature sold under the name “Marquee Classics.”

In addition to the M.I. Hummel series and Marquee Classics, Olszewski created his own miniatures, produced by Goebel, including a series inspired by the stories he read to his children called Storybook Lane. After being diagnosed with colon cancer in 1994, Robert Olszewski left Goebel to recuperate and later established his own Olszewski Studios.

 

The PAST Antiques Marketplace at Nature’s Art Village has a wide selection of Goebel decorative figurines. Stop by to see these and a wide variety of other vintage collectibles. Visit us on Route 85 in Montville, Connecticut to see our full selection of antiques and vintage collectibles!

Koken Barber ChairsDecember 21, 2018

When it comes to antique barber chairs, the Koken barber chair is a symbol of innovation.

In 1900, Earnest Koken struck upon what would prove to be his greatest idea: a hydraulically-operated chair fitted with a lever that allowed barbers to quickly and easily control all of the chair’s movements. Koken patented these innovations and combined them to create the Koken Hydraulic Barber Chair. His unique chair design  immediately became very popular with barber shops across the United States and beyond.
Koken Barber’s Supply Company remained a premier name in the United States until the 1950s, when the emergence of a number of lower-priced competitors and a slowly declining barber industry forced the company into bankruptcy.

Vintage barber chairs are available for sale at the PAST Antiques and on display at the Gateway Museum.

The PAST Antiques Marketplace  has a wide selection of unusual vintage collectibles to purchase. Stop by the Gateway Museum and explore all of our historic artifacts. Visit us at Nature’s Art Village on Route 85 in Montville, Connecticut.

Goebel “Redheads”December 19, 2018

A common misconception is that this collection of red-headed figures are Hummels. However, Goebel’s two most popular lines of porcelain statues were designed by different female artists.

Charlot Byj started out by creating her famous redheaded children as greeting cards. Her artwork captured the attention of Franz Goebel of the Goebel Company in the mid-1940s who turned Byj’s characters into three dimensional figurines. Her first figurine, “Strike”, featuring a bowling tyke, was modeled by the master sculptor Arthur Moeller in 1957.

The red-haired brother and sister known as Shabby O’Hair and Raggy Muffin were designed as lighthearted characters, full of life and mischief. Their dog, Waggy, also makes an appearance on many of the pieces.

More than 100 different figurines were designed, molded, and produced before the series was discontinued in 1988. These charming kids continue to be a favorite among Goebel collectors.

Next week we explore the fascinating works by Goebel Miniatures Studios.

The PAST Antiques Marketplace at Nature’s Art Village has a wide selection of Goebel decorative figurines. Stop by to see these and a wide variety of other vintage collectibles. Visit us on Route 85 in Montville, Connecticut to see our full selection of antiques and vintage collectibles!

 

 

December’s Vendor of the Month is Booth 66, located downstairs in the PAST Antiques Marketplace.

If you need some inspiration for holiday decorating and gifting, you have to visit this booth! Just look at all these beautiful items. Everything you need to complete your Christmas décor: Santa, snowmen, nutcrackers, blown glass ornaments, snow globes and more. They even have holiday jewelry to dress up your wardrobe.  Stop in today and add a little sparkle to your holiday!

 

 

With more than 90 antique and collectibles dealers between two handicap-accessible floors, The PAST Antiques Marketplace is sure to have something for the collector in all of us.

 

 

 

 

Long before Steve Allen popularized the phrase “is it bigger than a breadbox?” on  T.V. game shows in the 1950s, breadboxes were a staple in American kitchens.

Used to keep bread and other baked goods fresh, breadboxes are typically big enough to fit one or two average size loaves of bread—up to about 16 inches wide by 8 to 9 inches high and deep. They were a more common household item before bread started being commercially made with food preservatives and wrapped in plastic. Many homes still have breadboxes to keep store-bought or homemade bread. Newer boxes are usually made of metal or plastic, while in the past they were often made of wood.
Vintage breadboxes are a fun and useful collectible.

 

Breadboxes are designed to:

  • Keep their contents at room temperature, prolonging edible storage time.
  • Have a lid loose enough to allow airflow which reduces condensation and helps to prevent the formation of mold.
  • Have a lid tight enough to protect their contents from mice and all other pests, including ants and flies.

 

There are a variety of vintage household items on display in the Gateway Museum at Nature’s Art Village. Come visit us at Route 85 in Montville, Connecticut to explore all of our historic artifacts.